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Open Theology

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Perils and Possibilities of Multiple Religions Belonging: Test Case in Roman Catholicism

Peter Feldmeier
Published Online: 2017-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0006

Abstract

After reviewing various forms of multiple religious belonging, the author argues for the necessity of preliminary first principles, primarily coming from a considered form of a theology of religions. While an exclusivist theology would not allow multiple belongings, forms of inclusivism, pluralism, and postmodern mutualism provide possibilities. Since Roman Catholicism takes the most typical inclusivist position and has documented authoritative magisterial texts regarding Christianity and the religious other, the author makes a test case from the official Roman Catholic position. These he uses to guide theological possibilities and limitations. Ultimately, what he argues is that the Catholic position is not completely coherent and itself weaves some pluralist and postmodern principles into its supposedly rigid inclusivist position. As a test case, it shows the problems in creating a complete and absolute paradigm regarding Christianity‘s relationship with other religions. He finally argues for a modestly faithful form of Catholic theology that allows for some forms of multiple religious belonging, but also shows how full-fledged multiple identities are fraught.

Keywords: Theology of religions; Dual religious identity; Postmodern thought; Roman Catholicism; Inclusivism; Pluralism

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About the article

Received: 2016-07-22

Accepted: 2016-10-25

Published Online: 2017-01-13

Published in Print: 2017-01-26


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 73–89, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0006.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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